Lead: In 1810, Father Miguel Hidalgo led an uprising against Spanish colonial rule in Mexico. Although he was defeated, he became a symbol of Mexican Independence.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.             

Content: Miguel Hidalgo was born in 1753 in the central highlands of Mexico near Guanajuato. Hidalgo was a “criollo” – born in Mexico but with Spanish ancestry. He studied in Valladolid, now Morelia in central Mexico, at first with the Jesuits, and, after their expulsion, at the College of San Nicolas Obisbo where he earned a degree in theology, philosophy and the liberal arts. He was most certainly influenced by the subversive ideas of the Enlightenment. Ordained a Catholic priest in 1778 he taught as well as doing parish work. Hidalgo was a most complex man, some would say poorly managing his passions. He loved gambling, owned multiple haciendas, and fathered several children, but at the same time combined his spiritual duties with a keen sense of social justice. In 1803 Father Hidalgo moved to Dolores, a town in the Mexican highlands of mostly poor indigenous people. He introduced new farming techniques and helped to develop a brick-making and pottery industry.

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